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The World’s Most Creative and Inspiring Photo Tours and Cultural Adventures

Answers to your frequently asked questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions that should answer most of your inquiries. You can also use the search bar below to customize your search. If you still need help, feel free to contact us by email or call us at 1-888-834-0288.


Can anyone attend?

Absolutely. Although our focus is on capturing great photos, almost everyone who goes on vacation brings a camera and enjoys taking photos. So you are free to join us as a guest with or without any serious intentions toward photography. Many non-photographer spouses, partners and friends walk away inspired and with a greater appreciation for photography.

What separates PWA from the rest?

It all depends on what you would like to get out of our adventure. We refer to our workshops as photo adventure vacations, because clearly everyone is on vacation, there to enjoy themselves and also learn. More advanced photographers look to us to provide an amazing turn-key tour that fast forwards them to the best locations, so they can concentrate on shooting and not have to worry about anything else. Much like a seasoned fly fishing guide guiding his experienced client to his secret fishing holes. Beginners, enthusiasts and less advanced photographers will want something different, and we offer this as well. Throughout the adventure we will discuss how to be more creative with your photography, composition, exposure, the proper use of aperture and shutter speed, long exposure, use of ND filters etc. We typically do this in the field, over lunch or in the lounge at our hotel. We never give any boring classroom instructions. If you are a beginner, it’s important to arrive with basic knowledge of your camera’s settings, menu and manual. Armed with the basics, you can better concentrate on technique and style and how to expose for that great image. So, to answer your question, we are both a tour and a workshop, and you are free to make it whatever you prefer, and absorb and harness as much or as little information as you like.

When will I find out more details about my trip?

After you submit your deposit and registration we begin correspondence with you via email or phone. Our first objective is to help you coordinate your travels to and from our workshop destination. Are you arriving a day or so early, or staying beyond our workshop? Some people have even chosen to do back-to-back workshops and move on to the next destination with us. About 2-4 weeks before your departure date you will receive our PWA eWelcome Kit which includes everything you need to prepare for your trip. It includes a detailed list of equipment you should consider bringing, our daily itineraries, important mobile numbers and more. We will email you before your departure to make sure that everything is in order and answer any last minute questions you may have.

Can I bring family or friends?

Absolutely! We always welcome guests whether they are photographers or just would like to come along for the adventure. Guests must pay the same fee as a photographer.

What is your group size?

Our small group size photo adventures typically range from 4 to 6 guests, and occasional may go to 8 guests. We try to keep our guest-to-leader ratio to no more than 8 to 1, unless otherwise noted.


What type of hotel accommodations can I expect?

Expect to be wowed! We really pride ourselves on the excellent hotel choices we make. We typically stay in hotels in the 4-star category. On occasion, and depending on the location and the budget, we may even stay in a 5-star hotel. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels (usually boutique) which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts or branded chain hotels of lesser quality. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.

Should I book an early arrival or late departure room?

We offer early arrival and late departure hotel rooms for the convenience of our guests. We post pricing sometimes a year or more in advance based on experience. Sometimes you can book these rooms on your own for less or for more than what we post. Our pricing is not connected to any hotel booking system. But they are generally within +/-$50 USD of the price. Keep in mind that if you book on your own there is always a risk that we may change the hotel we use for the first night. This could be due to various factors including the size of the group, a better offer or a last minute change to our itinerary. This rarely happens, but it is always possible. Late departure rooms can also be effected by the same scenario. Lastly, if you book the early or late on your own the hotel may require you to check out and re-check in depending on their policy or if the room class if different. These are all things to consider. Ultimately, we suggest you book through us. It is always our goal to make your arrival and departure is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

When are hotels selected?

A selection of our preferred hotels is listed on each destination page. We will distribute finalized hotel details, approximately 4-6 weeks prior to our adventure.

Can I share a hotel room?

Our pricing is based on double occupancy (the industry standard). This means that unless you are traveling with another photographer or bringing someone else as a guest, you will need to select the single supplement option. On very rare occasions we can pair you up with a suitable roommate, but this almost never happens. Most guests look forward to their privacy after a long day of exploring and photography.


Do you offer photo adventures in Cuba?

Yes! And it’s one of our more popular destinations, especially among Americans. Although traveling to Cuba has become easier in recent years, the complexities of Cuba require a real sense of adventure. But all agree that the cultural and the photographic experiences are well worth the extra effort. We accept guests from all over the world. Our Cuba Photo Adventures are 100% compliant with U.S. Treasury OFAC rules and regulations. We offer 6 different ways to travel to Cuba. These include Classic Cuba, Vanishing Cuba, Havana, Eastern Cuba, Cuba Private, and Cuba Unplugged. To learn more about the latest regulations regarding travel to Cuba for U.S. Citizens, click here.

Can I fly directly to Cuba?

For U.S. Citizens, flying to Cuba couldn’t be easier. American, Delta, United and jetBlue Airlines all fly to various airports in Cuba, mainly Havana. There is a daily non-stop flights from New York City and Charlotte, SC to Havana, and of course, all flights from Miami and Tampa are non-stop. For non U.S. Citizens, flying to Cuba is no different than flying to anywhere else in the world.


What can I expect upon my arrival?

Your welcome package will contain all the details about our rendezvous, which is typically mid-to-late morning on your arrival date. We usually meet at our arrival hotel or sometimes at the airport depending on our workshop destination. After checking into our hotel we meet to review the weeks itinerary, enjoy lunch and answer any questions. You’re free to spend the late afternoon exploring or resting as we prepare to host our PWA Welcome Dinner, which kicks off a week of fun, adventure, exploration and learning. NOTE: Many people choose to arrive a day or so earlier. Please select an early arrival room when registering or email us with a request.

What's included?

We begin with a small group size, typically 4-6 guests and sometimes up to 8 guests. Each photo adventure is different so please check the destination page to see what is included. Our PWA Photographer Leader and brand ambassador will ensure that you have a wonderful experience filled with great photographic opportunities, cultural experiences and more. There will be photo walks and discussions about photography throughout the tour. We typically stay in 4 and sometimes 5-star hotels depending on the location. In more rural areas we may stay in small hotels, guest houses or bed & breakfasts, and in more exotic remote locations we may even offer a unique homestay. Breakfast is typically included  as well as a “Welcome Dinner” and “Farewell Dinner”. Some destinations include more meals. Please check the destination for more details. Our adventures are photo-centric meaning we focus on photography, but we also immerse ourselves in adventure, culture, cuisine and more. Local guides, when needed, are also included. And little things like entrance fees to museums, churches and parks are included. And finally, all scheduled local transportation is included. We will transport you in style using clean, late-model air conditioned vehicles throughout your trip.

What's not included?

Besides your arrival and departure flights, transportation and hotel transfers, you have little to worry about other than the cost of several meals. Our 6+ day adventures include all accommodations, local transportation, breakfasts (when included in the hotel package), two dinners (beverages and alcohol are not included), and several of our destinations such as Iceland, Bhutan and Turkey include all or most meals. Any excursions are listed in the final itinerary as optional and extra. These could include boat tours, hot air balloon rides, ferries, museum admissions, helicopter tours, scooter rentals, boat rentals, horses, donkeys, etc.

What can I expect to learn?

Our photo adventures are designed to not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light*, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity. In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. And no photography workshop would be complete without discussing workflow and editing, including Adobe Lightroom®, Adobe Photoshop®, and plugins such as NIK that will really make your photos dance. *Since our adventure days run from morning until night, there are many hours throughout the day when the light is not perfect, and even more so on traveling adventures when we are in transit all day. Photographing during the middle of the day is sometimes unavoidable.

What if I don’t know very much about photography?

Our workshops include photographers with varied experience, which makes the workshops more interesting and rewarding. The less you know, the harder we work. We enjoy teaching and sharing our knowledge with everyone. You’ll even be surprised how much you will learn from other students who are attending as well.

How many hours a day do we spend photographing?

That’s a great question, with a lengthy answer. Typically we spend between 6 and 9 hours a day taking photographs (when we are not traveling). Travel days can amount to less photography because of the travel time. Inclement weather can also play a role in how much we shoot. It also depends on the time of year. During the winter months when the days are short we have less available light. In the extreme northern or southern hemispheres we might only have 4-5 hours of light. On days with less light we often add in nighttime photography. During the summer months, when the days are longer, available light is never an issue. However, its important to keep in mind that when days become 16 or 18 hours long, its not possible to shoot for this many hours. And even more so in remote locations where the only photography might be landscape, nature and wildlife. On these long days we will often shoot the sunrise and the 3-4 hours that follow, and then again in the late afternoon or evening for 3-4 hours leading up to the sunset and after. During the middle of the day, when the light is at its worst, we may be napping so that we can strike a balance with the 4 hours of sleep at night between sunset and sunrise. This is standard and not unique to us. So keep this in mind when booking trips where the days are the longest days of the year.

Will you show me how to use my new camera?

Yes, but you should know the basics of your camera. It’s important to read the manual and become comfortable with the menu and features of your new camera. We try to stay up-to-date with all the latest cameras and equipment, but it’s not possible to know every make and model. Basics are the same, regardless of what camera you own, as well as learning creative techniques, the use of light and shadows, composition and the technical aspects of todays sophisticated digital cameras. Be sure to bring your camera manual (PDF or hard copy) and we’ll work together to get you more comfortable and confident with your equipment.

Will our photographer leader also be photographing?

Yes, absolutely. We follow the principle of leading by example. Your adventure will be filled with amazing and once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunities that are not to be missed. Our leader will be shooting alongside you and sometimes discovering a new opportunity to share with you. He or she may even go off ahead of you searching for a new vantage point that may or may not be good. Do not be alarmed by this. It’s all part of the process of discovering new locations. Our photo adventures are a walk and talk experience. A give and take. In order for our leader to help you view a location or opportunity in a different light or a better way, it often means comparing images in the field. It’s a process, and a very rewarding one. This happens on an as-needed basis so do not be afraid to seek out your leader and ask questions.

What if we experience bad weather?

Great question! Actually, some of the best photos are taken in less than perfect weather with interesting atmospheric conditions. That’s not to say that we will venture out in a thunderstorm on the cliffs of Cinque Terre, but you get the idea. If the weather is really bad, we will move to indoor locations that might include a church, a winery, interesting architectural structure or a museum. You will learn how to make the most of every situation we encounter and that might include bad weather, but remember, this is an adventure!

What time do your adventures begin?

Most of our adventures (with the exception of a few) begin on the first day at 11 AM, typically meeting in the main lobby or lounge of the hotel. Please check DAY 01 of your itinerary for the exact time.

What type of camera should I bring?

That is completely up to you. You may bring a DSLR, mirrorless camera, point-n-shoot, or even an iPhone if that is what you are most comfortable shooting with. Of course the more sophisticated the camera, the more options you will have in varying situations and learning techniques since smartphones are limited. We also recommend that you bring a lightweight tripod, extra memory cards and a laptop or tablet (although these are optional). If you don’t own a camera, you can rent a complete camera/lens package from camera rental companies such as LensRentals, Borrow Lenses, Lens Pro To Go, or Adorama for as little as $300 for the week plus shipping. Email or call us if you have any questions about your equipment or if you would like to discuss rental options. Your PWA Welcome Package will contain much more detailed information on how to pack right, and light.

Do I need to bring a laptop with me?

A laptop computer is essentially your present day darkroom and a necessity for todays digital photography. Not only is it required to download your daily images and free up your memory card, but also to display your work for discussions and reviews. We’ll also be teaching you how to use editing and enhancement softwares on your computer. So it would only benefit you to bring one. Your welcome kit will discuss what softwares you might want to consider purchasing before the trip, if you don’t already own them. Or you can choose to download a 15 and 30 days trial just before the workshop begins.

Do you rent camera equipment?

We don’t typically rent equipment on our international workshops, but we do rent DSLRs and high-end Pro Point n Shoots on our NYC workshops. In the United States you can rent complete DSLR Camera/Lens packages from Lens Rentals, Borrow Lenses, Lens Pro To Go, and Adorama Rentals for as little as $300 a week. There are rental houses in Europe and Canada that offer similar programs. You can email us for rental suggestions based on your budget and location and we’ll be happy to help you get the right gear. We do try to keep some equipment with us on each trip that can be purchased, such as memory cards, batteries, laptop and cell phone chargers, adapters, and sometimes even a tripod or lens or two.

Should I get my camera's sensor cleaned before my trip?

It’s always a good idea to clean your camera’s sensor before a long trip. You can buy a cleaning kit and clean it yourself (just make sure that you learn how to correctly clean the sensor and test it before leaving). Or you can bring it to your local camera shop for a cleaning, or send it to the manufacturer for a cleaning, diagnostics check and firmware update.

Will we be doing any flash photography?

On travel photo adventures we almost never use flash. Unless there are model and portrait photography opportunities outlined in the program, the times we might use flash will be extremely limited. Why is this? Since most of our photo adventures include travel, cultural, people, street, landscape, urban and architectural photography, the need or use of a flash is not necessary. Using available light is always best. However, sometimes on-camera fill-flash can be helpful in low light situations. But you need to know how to control this light so that you do get an artificially looking photograph. Furthermore, when shooting portraits, fashion and people as a group, it is nearly impossible to shoot using strobes unless you take turns which significantly slows down the process. We sometimes use continuous LED lights with groups. Flash photography is not taught on our photo adventures unless otherwise noted.

Can I use a film camera?

You may bring any camera you like including film cameras or smart phones. The most important thing to keep in mind is the immediacy that digital cameras provides us. In order to help guide you to becoming a better photographer, this immediacy, the ability to see what you photographed, read the metadata, correct it and even edit it in post-processing, is critical to the learning process. With a film camera you will be in the blind until you return home and develop your images. So for this reason, we suggest you bring digital cameras on our photo adventures.

Do you offer private adventures?

We offer private photo and cultural adventures for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. If photography is not your thing, we can easily adjust and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Or use our Corporate Team Building workshops to help you and your staff “think outside the box”.

Please click here for more information, or here to request a quote.

Registration & Payment

What type of payment do you accept?

We accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover and PayPal. All prices and payments are in U.S. Dollars. Deposits may be paid by credit card, bank card, PayPal or bank check, either online or by phone.

Do you offer gift cards?

We sure do! You can give someone you know a PWA eGift Card, good toward any of our Photo Adventures or Private Guided Photo Adventures. Our eGift Cards or beautifully personalized eGift Certificates are delivered to you electronically. PWA eGift Cards are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for someone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or contact us for more information.

Do you offer discounts?

We often run Last Minute Sales for upcoming adventures that we are looking to fill. Several times throughout the year we may offer promotions. Our Rewards Program allows registered guests earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Loyalty Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future. We know your have a choice, and we appreciate your loyalty, 


Are international flights included?

Flights to and from our destinations are not included in our photo adventures. Since our guests come from all over the world it would be impossible to include flights in the pricing. All local transportation during our adventures is included (unless otherwise noted).

Are airport transfers included?

That depends on the adventure. Please check the website or your itinerary to see if airport transfers are included in your photo adventure. We typically do not provide airport transfers in cities or destinations where transportation is easily available. Because we have guests flying in at different times and on different days, it makes coordinating this service difficult and unnecessary. On photo adventures in more exotic locations such as Bhutan, India, Turkey, Nepal, Kenya, etc., we do provide airport transfers. These details as well as others will all be communicated to you in your welcome package. Guest who have reached VIP status in our Rewards Program are eligible for free airport transfers. 

When should I book my flights?

A: We suggest that you do not book your flights until you have completed the registration process and receive that final trip details. We will be providing you with specific airport information and more. Research has shown that in most instances, the best time to book a flight is approximately 8 weeks before your departure date. You can read more about this on our THINK ORANGE magazine post: The Best Way To Book A Flight

Should I arrive one day early?

Since our photo adventures typically begin at 11 AM on the first day, we do suggest that you book your flight to arrive one day early so that you are rested and ready to begin your adventure on day one. Some tours begin in the later afternoon of the first day eliminating the need for this, but we feel that this essentially cuts a day from your schedule. Arriving one day early also helps protect you against any unforeseen flight delays due to bad weather, technical difficulties or missed connections. Our photographer leaders also arrive one day early to ensure that they are there for you on day one.

Is it a good idea to use a VPN to access the internet?

Yes, we strongly suggest using a VPN service in countries like China, Vietnam and Cuba. You can check online which countries might require you to use a VPN service for security purposes. You can read more about this on our THINK ORANGE magazine post: Using A VPN When You Travel.

How will we be traveling on our journey?

This depends on the group size. For groups of 4 people or less we use an AC SUV or mini-van. For groups of 5-6 guests we typically travel using a large AC van such as a Ford Transit van. For groups of 7-8 guests we may use an extended van or mini-bus. For private photo adventures consisting of 3 guests or less, we may travel by SUV, mini-van or full-size car. On some adventures we may travel with a combination of domestic flights, ferries, trains, high-speed trains, local taxis, car services, and/or subways (metros). You itinerary will provide most of these details. Local travel is always included in our photo adventures unless otherwise noted.
Travel Insurance

Do you offer travel insurance?

We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some eligible unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

General Questions

Can we book as a group?

Yes, we also offer discounts to groups of 6 or more. If you’re a photography club, family or group of friends, we would be happy to make you a special offer. Please contact us or call 1-888-834-0288 for more information.

We hope this was helpful

Please contact or call 1-888-834-0288 if you have any further questions. Our team will be happy to assist you. We look forward to seeing you on one of our Photo Workshop Adventures!

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